Monday, April 18, 2011

Version 0.5.2 Alpha

Yesterday I've decided to do some work on the User Interface. Some important internal changes were done to make it easier to create new types of gauges.

While full customizable screens aren't available, I've implemented a portrait mode layout for those who need it. Personally, I prefer the landscape mode.

I've also added an Agreement that must be accepted in order to use the application. This is important because playing around with OBD connections might damage your car if done unproperly. The agreement says that I cannot be held responsible for any damages caused by this software, so, be warned :). (I do use it for myself and I don't want my car to burst into flames, if that helps...)

So far I haven't had any feedback from users yet. Please post your findings on this blog, or e-mail me. The e-mail is available on Android Market.

My "todo" list is very long, but I wouldn't mind listening to what features do you need most.

Some new screenshots:
Some improvements on the Gauges. It's still ugly, I know...
New Portrait Mode

Sunday, April 10, 2011

First version


I have just released on the Android Market an alternative for OBD2 data monitoring for the Android platform. There are many things to be done, but I've decided to publish it to get more feedback.

OBD Dashboard is focused on being very efficient (which means being faster while using less battery) and it was initially created based on my own needs. Unfortunatelly I'm only able to work on this on my free time, which hasn't been much lately.

Dashboard screen

OBD Data chooser

For those willing to test, usage should be simple.

Press "Menu" and open Preferences. The first thing you should choose is which Bluetooth Device is the ELM327 compatible adapter.

There are some other interesting settings there:
  1. Auto enable/disable BT
  2. Use GPS
  3. Create Log File: creates a Log File on /sdcard/ObdDashboard
  4. Auto start/stop for Car Dock users
  5. Include debug info on Log: saves raw communication data to help debugging
Changing OBD commands
Currently there are only 2 gauges available on the main screen. To change what OBD command (information) you want to be loaded, long press the gauge. A screen with limited OBD Commands will be shown with live data, and you can choose freely.

Known limitations
As I've said, this is just a beginning. I really wish I had more spare time.
  1. Small set of OBD Commands: only the most interesting commands (for me at least) have been implemented. More will come.
  2. User Interface: those gauges are not exactly top notch. I've already planned some improvements, but I do accept suggestions :).
  3. Fixed layout: custom layouts isn't done as it is a big task to be done correctly. I'm really focused on doing this properly.
  4. Chosen commands not saved: currently, only the standard preferences are saved. I haven't done it because I'd rather wait until custom layouts can be created by users.
  5. No Trouble Codes viewing or clearing: wasn't done as it's not a priority right now. Will come in later versions.
  6. Performance optimization on supported ELM devices: my OBD Bluetooth dongle is one of those cheap chinese you can get everywhere. The timing commands that would allow for much faster update rates do not work properly. I'm currently choosing a better scanner to work on this.
Tested on
Phone: Motorola Milestone (Droid)
Scanner: Cheap Chinese (small blue version)
Cars: Peugeot 206 1.6 Flex 2007 (Brazil) and Peugeot 207 1.6 Flex Automatic 2010 (Brazil)

On this setup I get about 4 updates/second (limited by the cheap scanner), and CPU usage is around 10%. This means that with the proper scanner, and proper configuration, it will be able to handle higher update rates.

Bugs and Suggestions
If you find any bugs or have any suggestions, please comment below.